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"Le chat des garçons"

Translation:The boys' cat

December 23, 2012

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"des" (plural) is different from "du" (singular)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaune

you use "du" with uncountable nouns (eg. du cafe, which is masculine, while "de la", eg. de la viande is feminine).

in this case "de" possesive pronoun is like "of": le chat de garcon = the cat of a boy.

difference is only in pronounciation (explained below) ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monarchy

Wouldn't it be "le chat du garçon" in order to say the boy's cat? (one boy) and "le chat des garçons" to say the boys' cat (more than one boy)? To me "le chat de garçon" sounds like the boy cat (a cat for boys in general)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porquepuedo

Yeah, it would be du. I don't think 'le chat de garçon' makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/i-lumos

How can I tell if it's plural or not, if the "S" is not pronounced?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyozaki

"des" sounds like "deh/day" "de" sounds like "duh/dur"

http://translate.google.co.uk/?hl=entab=wT#fr/en/des

play that and then remove the "s" and hit play again to hear the difference

This is also consistent with "le" (sounds like "luh/lur") and "les" (sounds like "leh/ley")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RafaelBald10

How can I know when des is a possessive word and when it just go with the name, like "Le chat des garçons" and "Nous sommes des femmes"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"des" is not a possessive, strictly speaking.

  • le chat des garçons = the cat of the boys

So, "of the" translates to "de+les" which is contracted to "des".

  • nous sommes des femmes = we are women

Now, put it in singular: je suis une femme = I am a woman

In this case, "des" is just the plural of "une", ie the plural definite article (which does not exist as such in English).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milkaturtle

Why when she tells it in normal speed it sounds like she omitts the word 'des'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/serpientetaca

No, 'garçons' is plural, so "correctly" it would be boys's, but in English the last s can be cut.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porquepuedo

Just one thing:

but in englis the last s can be cut

It can't be cut. It must be cut.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

Porque, can you give an example of what you mean? Serpentetaca is totally right. Boys' is right; the 's' must stay to indicate plurality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porquepuedo

No, I mean you can't say boys's, that doesn't make sense. You must say just boys' (no extra S).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

Oh, that makes sense. I guess lost count. Sometimes I mix up 0 and 1.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zudeet

That's right. In English, you add a final apostrophe to form the possessive of a plural noun ending in "s." So, "the boys' cat" is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ohaiadit

I mistakenly wrote "the boys' cats" and Duolingo accepted it as a correct answer. Should I report this as an error or is 'cats' in this context in a way correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaeggipierre

Its not really right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

If you're going to comment, can you explain why it isn't right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlysonBurrell

Is this sentence implying possession? The cat belongs to the boys?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, that is the way possession is expressed (lit: the cat of the boys)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlysonBurrell

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gayathrik1

how is this translated as the boy's cat??.which word in the sentence says that the cat belongs to the boys?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porquepuedo

The sentence isn't the boy's cat, to start. It's the boys' cat. (more than one boy)

The possessive word is 'des', meaning "of the"

The cat of the boys » the boys' cat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

Why is there no article in front of garçons? The English translation is "The boys' cat," but to me the French just looks like "Boys' cat."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porquepuedo

There is an article :) des = de + les


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

I figured that out later in the lesson. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeorgeRefa

Why "des" , why its not "ton"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The owner of the cat is "garçons", not "your".

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